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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  September 8, 2014 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: the u.s. and its allies prepare for a new phase in the campaign to dismantle in the islamic state group in iraq and syria. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. gwen ifill is away. also ahead this monday, the baltimore ravens kicked ray rice off the team and the n.f.l. suspended him indefinitely after new video of the star running back punching his then-fiance was released. plus, in colorado, how disputes over fracking for oil and gas are fueling deep political divides. those are just some of the stories we're covering on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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>> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: a chilling new warning today on the ebola outbreak in west africa. the world health organization projected an exponential increase in new cases. in a statement, the u.n. agency said: many thousands of new cases are expected in liberia over the coming three weeks. more than half of all the cases so far have been in liberia. the u.s. military now plans to assist setting up isolation units and providing security. hundreds of american children in ten states have fallen ill with a severe respiratory in recent weeks. the centers for disease control reports nearly 500 kids were treated at a single hospital in kansas city and many required intensive care.
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symptoms can include heavy coughing, fever and asthma-like breathing trouble. in ukraine, the cease-fire between government forces and rebels appeared to be holding after sporadic violations over the weekend. that word came as president petro poroshenko made a surprise visit to mariupol. rebel forces have moved close to the coastal city, but in a speech, poroshenko declared it will stay ukrainian. >> ( translated ): we are ready to defend our state. our armed forces, national guard, border guards. keep the powder dry. but speaking of political decisions, we will do all we can for a process of a peaceful settlement. >> woodruff: the ukrainian president said also that nearly 1,200 prisoners-of-war have been released by the rebels under the cease-fire. nigeris'a military reported today it has recaptured a key town from islamist militants of boko haram.
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a seniour official said the government forces took back the town of bam, in northeast borno state, and blocked the militants advance toward the state capital. over the weekend, however, boko haram captured several other towns. the iraqi parliament took a giant step this evening toward putting a functioning government in place. lawmaker officially named haider al-abadi as prime minister and approved most of a new cabinet. abadi asked for another week to fill the key security posts of defense and interior ministers. the goal is a more inclusive government to bring sunnis back into the fold. rescuers in india and pakistan labored today to save thousands of people trapped by flooding. more than 320 have died in the disaster, across the divided territory of kashmir and northern and eastern pakistan. today, indian air force helicopters airlifted more
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people to safety. residents in the main city of srinagar waded through flooding streets over the weekend with cattle and belongings, waiting to be rescued. >> from the second half of yesterday we started focussing over the srinagar city where the water level has been continuously rising and it has risen up to a considerable level, almost up to the second floor, and people are stranded on rooftops. >> woodruff: the disaster has put tensions between the two countries on hold, at least temporarily. the indian and pakistani prime ministers offered sunday to assist each other in relief efforts. widespread thunderstorms from the remnants of hurricane norbert sparked flash flooding in parts of arizona this morning. in phoenix, a record breaking three inches of rain fell by daybreak. wreaking havoc on the morning commute. portions of major interstates were closed and dozens of vehicles lay stalled in window- high water. the storm also triggered flooding in southern california over the weekend. on wall street today, the dow jones industrial average lost
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nearly 26 points to close at 17,111; the nasdaq rose nine points to close at 4,592; and the s&p 500 slipped six to finish 2,0001. and some happy news this evening from the british royal family. prince william and the duchess of cambridge are expecting a second child. >> he had not wanted the world to know so soon but prince william had no choice. kate should have been with him in oxford today but a bout of severe morning sickness kept her at home and forced him to approve the announcement that they have another child on the way. >> congratulations. how's kate feeling? >> she's had a few days but it's great news. early days.
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she'll feel better. >> kate hasn't been seen in public since the world war i commemoration in the tower of london last month. the announcement of her first pregnancy also had to be brought forward. on that occasion, morning sickness was so severe, she was take ton the hospital. prince george, now one, was born seven months later. today, it was confirmed he will have a brother or sister by next spring. >> on behalf of the whole country, i'm sure the house will want to join me in congratulations. >> so as he was greeted by a small well-wisher today, prince william's thoughts were very much with his own family and the wife he was forced to leave at home. >> woodruff: the baby will be fourth in line to the thrown behind prince charles, prince william and prince george.
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>> woodruff: still to come on the newshour. what the u.s. and its allies can do to destroy the islamic state group. why politicians aren't talking about immigration before november's elections. deep political divides over fracking for oil and gas in colorado. and the n.f.l. suspends running back ray rice indefinitely for domestic violence. >> woodruff: now to the next phase for the united states and partners in going after the islamic state group. many in the region and this county are anxiously awaiting more details as the president prepares for a national address wednesday on his strategy in dealing with the militant group that has brought death and destruction to large swaths of iraq and syria. >> we are going to systematically degrade their capabilities, we're going shrink the territory that they control and ultimately we're going to defeat them. >> woodruff: the president outlined a multi-step campaign in a lengthy interview seen sunday on nbc. it elaborated on his statement
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last week in estonia, regarding the islamic state group, also known as isil. >> the bottom line is this: our objective is clear, and that is to degrade and destroy isil so it is no longer a threat, not just to iraq, but also to the region and to the united states. >> woodruff: it was widely- reported today that the president's expanded air offensive could last years. but in the nbc interview, he again made clear the effort won't include combat troops. >> we're not looking at sending a hundred thousand america troops. we are going to be, as part of an international coalition, carrying out air strikes in support of work on the ground of iraqi troops, kurdish troops, we are going to be helping to put together a plan for them so they can start retaking territory that isil had taken over. >> woodruff: air strikes have
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already been under way for four weeks nearly 150 to date. they've helped kurdish forces, plus iraqi troops and iranian- backed shiite militia, push back the sunni extremists of islamic state. over the weekend, the air campaign reached into anbar province, striking targets around haditha dam. the predominantly sunni region west of baghdad is largely under islamic state control. it remained unclear if an expanded air war would extend into syria. general martin dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs, has said any move to destroy the militants would also mean strikes in syria, where they are strongest. just ten days ago, at a white house news conference, mr. obama said there was no strategy yet on that question. he did not address that point directly in his nbc interview, but he did say it's essential
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for majority sunni states in the region to step up. >> not just saudi arabia but our partners like jordan, united arab emirates, turkey, they need to be involved. this is their neighborhood. the dangers that are posed are more directed at them right now then at us, and the good news is i think for perhaps for the first time you have absolute clarity that the problem for sunni states in the region, many of whom are our allies, it's not simply iran, it is not simply a sunni-shia issue. >> woodruff: to that end, secretary of defense hagel was in turkey today, one of the ten nato nations committed to the so-called core coalition against the islamic state group. it was also announced that secretary of state kerry will leave tomorrow for the region. and a two day meeting of the
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arab league in cairo ended today, with the group urging members to confront the islamic state. the league's secretary general is nabil al-araby. >> ( translated ): what is happening in iraq is a threat of a terrorist organization. that is not just defying the state but threatens its existence and the existence of other countries. this terrorist organization represents all forms of tyranny, oppression and terror. it's working to divide the social structure of the region. >> woodruff: back in washington, president obama begins consulting congressional leaders tomorrow. he plans to present the full strategy to the nation, in a speech on wednesday. so can the islamic state group be destroyed and degraded as president obama laid out? for that, we get three views. feisal istrabadi was iraq's deputy ambassador to the united nations from 2004 to 2007. he's now a professor of international law and diplomacy at indiana university.
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frederic wehrey is a former u.s. air force officer who served in and around the middle east, including in iraq. he's now at the carnegie endowment for international peace. and hussein ibish is a senior fellow on the american task force on palestine who writes extensively on mideast issues. we welcome all three of you back to the program. i'm going to start with you, feisal istrabadi. is it realistic to say that the u.s. or anyone can destroy the islamic state? >> well, i think that -- i mean, you obviously can't destroy an ideology, but you can go after the individuals who have signed up for this ideology and who have taken the field. so, yes, i think you can because they have -- they represent a
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very small minority of the populations of the countries that they are in the midst of. there is a rising consensus amongst all the countries of the region and the peoples of the region that these people represent a direct threat in the region and internationally, and i think that an appropriate response by the countriess of te region in coordination with the united states and n.a.t.o. allies can and must result -- indeed, it doesn't seem to me we have must haveo a choice -- in defeat of these people. >> reporter: frederic wehrey? you're talking about a hybrid military force sweeping across territories, so you can restrain that capability. but undercutting this movement's ideology is going to be a long-term, perhaps even generational process.
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you're really talking about removing a cancer from a region and undercut that ideology. >> woodruff: hussein ibish. i like that analogy. it is a cancer. sit a cancer that's metastasized into iraq and it's more doable to degrade them to a pointy they're a nuisance and problem in iraq. going after the strong hold where they are dug in where they are running what amounts to a ministate in sir . -- in syr. it's a state that posits itself as a alternative not to syria or iraq but the whole system. it's a threat to the international structure as we've known it for hundreds of years. >> woodruff: so the president is talking about a staged approach here. does that make sense?
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we assume he talks about starting in iraq. >> i think that's essential. iraq gives you the opportunity to build the coalition and especially with local forces on the ground, sunni forces, sunni tribal forces, anyone who will join the campaign against i.s.i.s. will be welcome, and then from there you can see how it could present new opportunities in syria and change the dynamics in syria. >> woodruff: mr. istrabadi, back to iraq, the parliament has now signed off on mr. abadi as a new prime minister. are the pieces coming into place in iraq for this to be a cooperative effort between the u.s., the iraqis, the kurds to go after i.s.i.s.? >> yes, and, of course, the kurds are iraqis and are
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participating in the government and the peshmerga are iraqi forces provided for in the iraqi constitution. i think we are seeing the beginning of pieces falling into place. i think, although iraqis have been optimistic over the past eleven years only to have their high hopes dashed, i think most of us realize this may well be a last chance to keep our country together. we have to do a number of things at the same time, including fighting i.s.i.s. or i.s.i.l., but we also have to make a compact that allows us to live with each other in peace and confront mutual enemies. >> woodruff: frederic wehrey, building on that, when the president said a minute ago these other countries need to be involved and named jordan, the uae, turkey, what can we look for from these countries because they all relate to this in very different ways. >> they do, they ally links to iraq and sir. i can't i think we'll look at certain
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capabilities that are leveraged. they won't all apply military power to the problems. they will leverage tribal links and tackling finances. >> woodruff: what do you mean leveraging tribal -- >> they have linkage as that straddle the border between these countries and they will probably try tone gauge the sunni tribes in the country to peel them away from i.s.i.s. through cash, incentives. they have excellent intelligence networks. they will tackle the refugee problem, but we shouldn't expect them to be sending jet in with a massive military coalition. >> woodruff: so you're saying it's mainly a u.s. military? >> in terms of actual value added, i don't think many of the countries have the capability, perhaps the united arab emrapts or turkey. but we're talking for the precision campaign you need to avoid collateral damage and go after the key leadership, you're talking about perhaps the u.s. and perhaps n.a.t.o. countries.
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>> i think there have to be boots on the ground to replace i.s.i.l. fighters when they are defeated and i think that can't be sec tarn forces in either iraq or syria, perceived se sectarian forces. it's got to come from the people i.s.i.s. is claiming to represent and they have to be flipped. one thing coalition partners can bring to the table beyond the military, law enforcement and financial crackdown is the sunni arab credibility that this is not an attack on soon requests, that this is not shelling for sectarianism or iran or shiites or anything like that, but this is essential for arab sunnis as a collective and local arab sunnis in iraq and ultimately syria as well. >> woodruff: you bring up something i want to turn to feisal istrabadi and this is assuming this gets done and
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however long it takes, who will be in place to hold the situation stable and to keep it from falling apart again? whose boots are they going to be? >> look, you cannot say on the one hand we should not have sectarian forces in iraq, a proposition with which i agree, and then on the other hand say but there need to be sunnis in these areas. what we need to do is build institutions of the state. unfortunately, we have wasted the last eight years, so we have to build state institutions at the same time that we are doing this work. it's going to be extremely difficult, but this is the challenge of the new prime minister has before him to build truly iraqi -- an iraqi security force that all groups and sects and nas nationalities that constitute iraq buy into.
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if not we're talking about the de facto and perhaps the division of iraq and if that happens we have a true pandora's box in which iraq looks like somalia. >> what i am saying th is that y force that is on the ground that takes the place of i.s.i.s. has to have credibility with the local population. that's essential. >> that's another story. i agree with. >> woodruff: frederic wehrey, how does the u.s. help manage or oversee all this ensure the things happen the three of you are describing. >> it's going to be very shaky. we know many of the states compete with one another within the gulf. to say there's a unified sunni block with s a bit of a misnomer. there's a bit of a sunni cold war going on right now. so it's going to be a very delicate task. but i think much hinges on what
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goes on in baghdad itself and the actions the iraqi government takes toward its own population. >> woodruff: and it's moving from one president in this country to the next one. the president already said it's going to go beyond his term inoffs. we thank you, frederic wehrey, hussein ibish, feisal istrabadi. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> woodruff: as the president considers his options for dealing with the islamic state. he has decided to delay taking action on immigration. jeffrey brown reports on the political storm that's created. >> reporter: with congress back from summer vacation, the president drew fire from both sides for delaying executive action on immigration until after the mid-term elections in november. republican senator jeff sessions of alabama. >> the president now is brazenly reaffirming in even clearer language that he will carry out
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his amnesty plan but only after the election in november. this is an attempt to protect his democratic senate candidates. >> they shouldn't talk about it during an election? well, when should issues be talked about, great issues facing america, if not during the election cycle? >> woodruff: the president is also taking heat from members of his own party. yesterday, democratic congressman luis gutierrez of illinois sounded a warning on abc's "this week." >> playing it safe might win an election. sometimes you lose an election also. it almost never leads to fairness, justice, and to good public policy you can be proud of. >> woodruff: last year, the democratic-led senate passed its own comprehensive immigration bill, but it stalled in the republican-run house. in late june, the president vowed to take executive action by summer's end. >> if congress will not do their job, at least we can do ours.
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i expect their recommendations before the end of summer and i intend to adopt those recommendations without further delay. >> reporter: then came july and protests over the flood of immigrant children crossing into the u.s. detention facilities reached full capacity, and when authorities sent the overflow to sites in nearby states, demonstrations broke out. >> i want to make sure that the "t's" are crossed and the "i's" are dotted. yesterday, in his nbc interview, the president cited that issue in explaining why he's putting off any immigration announcement. >> this problem with unaccompanied children that we saw a couple weeks ago, where you had from central america a surge of kids who are showing up at the border, got a lot of attention. and a lot of americans started thinking, we've got this immigration crisis on our hands. and what i want to do is when i take executive action, i want to make sure that it's sustainable. >> reporter: he surge of migrant
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children has now slowed, but today, the administration renewed its request for $1.2 billion dollars to deal with the problem. so how could the president's decision to delay action on immigration reform affect november's midterm elections? we explore that question with: amy walter, national editor of the cook political report. and roberto suro, professor in the annenberg school for communication and journalism at the university of southern california. he's also director of the tomas rivera policy institute, a research center that studies demographic diversity issues. amy, a political calculation at the white house first. what were they looking at that led them to put off action. >> a senate on the brink of flipping to republican control. they've known the entire year the battle for troll control of the senate takes place in red states. democrats are defending seven states mitt romney won.
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the way to ensure the red states keep electing a democrat is to make sure you don't give the republican base any more energy or enthusiasm than they have. the president making an executive order on immigration would make the republican base in those states incredibly agitated. there's no doubt they'd come out and vote and vote against the democrats. >> brown: and the key states -- >> arkansas, louisiana, alaska, those are the sorts of red states. but i also want to note ads were run by republicans especially in blue states with a low hispanic population. >> brown: roberto, do yon agree with the analysis and also that the notion of the issue of the youth migration over the summer really changed the political calculus? >> yes, i think it's very clear from the polling numbers and it's also the kind of reaction we've seen before to images of a
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border that seems to be out of control when there's a surge of unauthorized migration. you get a reaction of anxiety, sometimes anger and certainly distrust towards the federal government, in this case the obama administration. potentially, i think the perceptions in the white house were accurate, that there was a negative reaction and potentially a larger negative reaction. it's still a question of whether they've resoupled that or -- resolved that or not by these actions. >> brown: amy, there's still going to be an election. >> that's right. >> brown: it's still very much an issue and the president said he would wait till afterward. >> he can still put an executive order right after the election. >> brown: how does this look like it might affect -- >> democrats i have a 50/50 problem, republicans have a
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270-vote problem, the electoral college, and the problem is immigration is an issue they have to resolve if they want to win the whops back. so they've got to be able to win in states that we're not talking about today but like nevada, we are talking a little bit about colorado, new mexico, other states where immigration is a very big deal and issue. for republicans to win the white house, they've got to be able to handle the demographic issues they lost badly in the last election. so they can put this off -- the president can put this off, republicans can put this off, but at some point this is going to hurt republicans, most likely, in the long term unless they find a way to handle this in 2015. >> brown: what about roberto suro in the shorter term for these elections first is we've heard a lot of arrange from latino group. is there a potential for a backlash that hurts democrats right now?
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>> i think there is a potential for a backlash. if you look at some of the social media chatter today particularly among the groups of younger activists, the so-called dreamers, there's a lot of talk about demonstrations, about disrupting political appearances. it's happened several times so far this year and mostly with republican candidates but in some cases with democratic appearances, and they were quite aggressive in the spring and early summer of 2012, and try to push the obama reelection campaign towards more generous policies. so there's a possibility that, you know, you have a small number of people, but being loud at democratic events, protesting this, and there's always the possibility that in a few key places where there are substantial hispanic voters, you might get a stay-at-home fact
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this time around. >> brown: what do you think about the potential for keeping down the vote? >> one issue is in colorado where latinos have been very important to democrats. it can have an impact on whether the democrat can hold the senate seat. but in every other states, you have a small latino population and i don't think you will see a backlash in 2014. what happens in 2015? does the president actually do an executive order which then reenergizes latinos on behalf of democrats, puts the republicans on the defense, or do therooms say in 2015 and 2016, we've got to handle the issue or else we've have a hard time winning the white house in 2016. >> brown: roberto suro, what do you think about the long-time politics of the issue and the prospects for immigration reform at this point? >> let me make a quick remark about 2014.
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latinos aren't the only ones who care about immigration. there are a lot of progressive democrats who will be disappointed in the way this turned out who are not latinos and who are key parts of the obama coalition. young people in particular have been very strongly in favor of immigration reform, and this may add to a sense of disappointment. in the long term, there are a couple of possibilities. if republicans win control of the senate, they may pass an immigration reform measure that is much less generous than the one that was passed by the senate last year, and put immigration advocates and the president in the position of taking something rather than nothing. beyond that, looking towards 2016, if it's not resolved, then whoever is running for president on the democratic side is going to have to deal with it during this election process, and there will be pressure from latinos
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and other pro immigration groups, essential parts of the democratic base that will push anybody who's running for the nomination to adopt strong positions on immigration reform. >> and, robert o in a word, sort of the prospects for large-scale immigration reform going forward? the politics don't change that much do, they? >> well with, you mean in the next couple of years? yeah, it's hard to imagine a sweeping reform of the type that the progressives have advocated and was enact bid the senate -- enacted by the senate. except the possibility the republicans may tryto something, may try to re-create their own bill and force democrats to say yea or nay to it. but otherwise it's hard to see how comprehensive reform comes
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back. >> brown: roberto suro and amy walter, thank you both very much. >> woodruff: next, you frequently hear the adage all politics is local. that's particularly true in colorado when it comes to fracking. communities there are engaged in a battle with the state to get more control over oil and gas drilling. rocky mountain pbs's dan boyce reports from the town of longmont. >> i found out there was going to be fracking all around the reservoir. >> 70-year-old great grandmother kate bysing jeer is a busy woman. she's been fighting to protect the town she loves from fracking, pumping pressurized water deep underground to extract natural rock and
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drilling for gas. >> we don't have fracking because to have the ban. >> she showed us this reservoir on the edge of longmont where companies have been trying to put in a series of gas well withs. >> they will be fracking where people play. >> she's worried it will soon look like so many other places along colorado's front range with drill towers and well he does cropping up next to homes in in an unprecedented rate. activists north of denver succeeded in keeping the boom away from their door steps by lobbying at the local level. the longmont city council voted to restrict where wells could be built a couple of years ago. a few months later, residents took it a step further, passing a ban on fracking altogether. the state government immediately launched two lawsuits against longmont for this, and it fired up a grassroots citizens movement for a state-wide initiative to give communities
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more control over fracking. people. >> people are most concerned what it means for the quality of life. >> jared pollis decided to bank roll the fight. >> i think each community will decide and i think in many communities, one of the counties nearby it's an important part of their economy. other areas have voted to ban it. the votes should be respected. it's like any other industrial operation, communities decide whether they want to incorporate it into their economic development strategy or not. >> democrats didn'university ofr political science professor peter hansen. >> from a political standpoint, the fracking issues are going to
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make it difficult for the democrats this fall. for senator udall or the governor to open themselves up to the accusations that they were somehow opposed to energy development and jobs in the state would have been politically quite dangerous for them. >> colorado is sitting on vast reserves of shale, they can provide huge amounts of oil and gas through an environmentally safe process called fracking. >> before it hit the ballot, the industry was spending millions of dollars to fight them. >> means jobs for colorado. the ads show down over measurers expected to total tens of millions breaking state record. >> emergency extraction in our environment and managing the balance can be difficult but is something we've always been able to do in colorado. >> last month, governor john hickenlooper announce add compromise between major
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environmental organizations and industry groups. the state would drop one of the lawsuits against longmont. congressman polis would drop his two ballot initiatives. the oil and gas industry would drop two pro fracking initiatives and a so-called blue ribbon commission would be crafted. >> this will put the matter in the hands of a group of thoughtful community leaders, business representist and citizens who can advise the legislature and the executive branch of the best path forward. >> brown: some argued the state is best to regular nate the oil and gas industry to avoid a hodgepodge of regulation. >> all the red dots are wells. matt heads up the oil and gas state conservation agency which regulates the industry. >> part of what is going on is these cities and communities are expanding. what was once just rural
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agricultural land, subdivisions get developed. if today the local governments chose to say "no drilling in our residential zone," what about tomorrow when the residential zone has moved again out to where drilling was okay. >> lapor says the governor was right to broke interest compromise. >> would you go so far to say you breathed a sigh of relief? >> i think, yes, i did and i think colorado should have breathed a sigh of relief, too, to be honest. >> the state is in my opinion uniquely equipped to regulate oil and gas both in terms of the expertise we have and the resources and the long history we have. >> reporter: the state of colorado has been a leader in requiring oil and gas companies to disclose fracking information and contain methane emissions at the wells. the representative polis doesn't think it's enough. he wishes the compromise would have gone further but says
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better than gambling in november. >> better than rolling the dice with an initiative that may or may not pass, having oil and gas sponsor initiatives on the ballots which could be a setback for protecting the home owners. it provides a process that will hopefully allow us to solve thee issue in the future. >> reporter: but the anti-fracking crowd attacks polis for cavic to political pressure. can you sum it up? >> betrayal. >> reporter: kate, a life-long democrat, says the whole thing is forcing her to lead the party. >> a cold day in hell before i vote for hickenlooper, not someone who betrays us twice. how could i? it would so violate my integrity to vote for this man. there's a green candidate.
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i'll vote for him. >> you felt compromise was a subversion of -- >> the democratic process, yeah >> reporter: gwen is a life-long environmentalist and county commissioner from the southwestern part of colorado. she's not abandoning the process yet. she supported the local control measurers and the compromise left her with mixed emotions. >> i have disappointment and also a sense of this blue ribbon commission could really be an opportunity for not only colorado but other states dealing with this issue. >> governor hickenlooper is asking lacko to co-chair the new commission charged with resolving the conflicts over local control. she says it can't be ignored anymore. >> the oil and gas industry refuses this time to address the people's concerns. they will lose their social license to operate, and the
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people of colorado will take matters in their own hands. if commission fails or the legislature fails to enact the recommendations from this commission in 2015, i say get ready for 2016. >> reporter: in the mean time, the industry is continuing to drill new wells in a serious pace in many parts of the state. >> the people of longmont look to you tonight. >> reporter: and the citizens of longmont are continuing to fight to keep their fracking ban. >> this ban has become more than just a ban on hydraulic fracturing. it has become a statement of democracy for and by the people. >> reporter: residents spoke up at a recent city council meeting with impassioned pleas after a district judge declared the ban unconstitutional. council members voted unanimously to appeal.
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(cheers and applause) >> woodruff: the story was produced in cooperation win side energy, a public media collaboration focusing on america's energy issues. >> woodruff: finally tonight, two dramatic and inglorious exits in the world of professional sports. one a celebrated player in the n.f.l., the other an n.b.a. team owner. and a warning: some of the images may be disturbing to some viewers. the stunning news broke this afternoon, the baltimore ravens kicked star running back ray rice off the team. minutes later, the n.f.l. suspended him indefinitely. the sudden turnabout followed the release of this security camera video, by tmz sports. it shows rice and his then fiancee, now wife, janay palmer entering a casino elevator in atlantic city, new jersey.
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they argue and then rice knocks palmer down, and apparently, out. video released right after the february incident showed rice dragging palmer out of the elevator. he was charged with felony aggravated assault, but avoided jail time by entering a pretrial intervention program. >> that night, you know, i just replay over and over in my head. you know, that's not me. my actions were inexcusable and, you know, that's something i have to live for-- have to live with the rest of my life. the n.f.l. initially suspended rice for two games a punishment that drew widespread criticism for being too lenient. n.f.l. commissioner roger goodell at first defended the suspension. but last month he sent a letter to team owners saying he didn't get it right. he set the future penalty for a first-time domestic violence offense at a six-game suspension.
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but that was before the new video emerged which the league and the ravens said they had never seen until today. the rice news came on the heels of another scandal in the national basketball association. atlanta hawks owner bruce levenson said he plans to sell the team because of racially charged remarks he made. he wrote in an internal e-mail two years ago that white men might not be comfortable in an arena with a high percentage of black fans. about four months ago, the n.b.a. banned los angeles clippers owner donald sterling for life over racist comments he made. the team was later sold. we take a close look at these developments with, christine brennan, sportswriter and columnist for "u.s.a today" and "abc news." and kevin blackistone, a sportswriter and commentator for espn. he's also a professor of sports journalism at the university of maryland.
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we welcome you both back to the program. christine brennan, i'll start with you. the video of ray rice so disturbing. a lot of questions tonight about whether the football league has handled this properly. what are your thoughts? >> judy, this is a stunning turn of events where all of a sudden ray rice is getting ready to return to the ravens and now he's gone, a pariah, history, that's it. a great ending to a terrible black eye for the league. the fact that it took so long to get to this point, the fact that it took a video to see this. i mean, in many ways, a lot of us are asking today, what did you think domestic violence looked like and why did it take this video to spur the league to action? so they've got on the right place, with so many questions, as you said, about how they got here and also what does it mean for others who have been accused of or found guilty of domestic abuse in the n.f.l. who are
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still playing and is it time for them to go as well. >> woodruff: kevin blackistone, what was your reaction and what do you say about how the league has handled it? >> seeing the video confirmed what i thought happened in the first place and i didn't need the second video release to confirm my thoughts about what should happen to ray rice. you know, i think it's interesting that -- and this is the really sad commentary -- that each year in this country 1.3 million or 1.4 million women are victims of domestic violence, yet it takes a videotape before everyone gets exercised and apoplectic over what happens and something to be done. if there is anything to become of all this, maybe it's that. the ravens in the last three years, at least two players have been penalized by the league for domestic violence and they've gotten a game or a two-game
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suspension. and we know that since the year 2000, there have been at least 77 players n the league who have been penalized for domestic violence. >> woodruff: christine brennan standing behind ray rice up until just today. he had a two-game suspension. there are questions raised now about the league, commissioner goodell, he has walked back the decision for two games. they're saying six-game suspension for any other player found guilty of domestic violence. is that the right approach? >> as of today, there are new rules that supersede that and that was less than two weeks old. so it went from two games to six games. the second offense according to new rules a week and a half ago is at least a year and even could be for life. so if ray rice is gone there the league, that could be the precursor to what this new policy is.
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i think the bottom line is and i know what you're thinking, kevin, is we don't know. this is unchartered territory. it shouldn't have taken a video to get toys this point but the fact the n.f.l. is at this point it's a good conversation, clearly, to be having. >> woodruff: but kevin blackistone, how does one know where something like this is truly going to change the approach and truly change the message that young players are hearing? >> i think by the fact that, as christine pointed out earlier, ray rice has become a pariah in the league. i talked to a friend of mine who used to work at the general council of the n.f.l. and asked what would happen now that ray rice was cut? he said he would be out of a job. even though teams could pick him up, teams will be very, very unlikely to do so because of his reputation which is now so, so tarnished. remember, this was a young man out of rutgers university who people spoke highly of up until
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this particular incident. so i think this is going to have sop real ripple effects throughout college football as young men try to put their lives together and become professional athletes. >> woodruff: and kevin just cited, christine, 77 instances over the last period. what does that say about what our professional sports culture and especially football is saying to these young men? >> well, of course, it's a valid game and would be would hope they would understand the violence is on the field, not off. but it's also a problem in society. it's not just the n.f.l., major league baseball, the nba, it is our society. but the 1/2 can now be a leader. i think that's a positive takeaway. the n.f.l. is starting this conversation for all of us and all of russ having this today and it's a better thing if we get to a better place. >> woodruff: the other news we reported, owner of planning hawks, bruce levenson, saying
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he's selling the team after he released the remarks he made. there are some saying this is perfectly probate. kareem abdul-jabbar tweeted on how to attract more white fans. is that reasonable? > >? i won't do that. donald sterling is a serial -- i would suggest a couple of things. one, if he is concerned white basketball fans in atlanta don't want the attend atlanta hawks games because to have the prevalence of black fans and black cheerleaders and black music then i think he needs to have a conversation with them and not his marketing department because they are the problem. that's their hangup.
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the second thing i would say if he's concerned about disposable income on the part of black fans who come to the games, once again that's a conversation to have with the business community in atlanta which, if it tracks national trends, means that they pay black workers less than they pay white workers, even when you control for education. so this is a larger problem than just what's going on in w the atlanta hawks. >> woodruff: you just raise add number of questions. but christine brennan, what does this say about the -- i mean, it made a number of people, i know, wonder about the attitudes of white owners across the board and people who are in the business of promoting professional basketball. >> in a sport that is so racially diverse and inclusive and this is what we hear. robinson said it best when he sent the email apologizing saying he's the leader and basically blew it. as a businessman, this is the 21st century, obviously. the 50 to 80-year-old fans will
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be gone and the 20-year-olds to 30-year-olds will be around a long time. they've grown up in a different country. you have to play to them, whether on issue of race, sexual orientation, gender, you have to be much more open minded. >> but that won't happen. >> woodruff: is there reason to believe this is an attitude that's more widely held and prevalent? >> sure, some have suggested that. i would loant out levensen -- point out levenson is part of corporate america and other sports are part of corporate america. do others believe that? i wouldn't be surprised if they don't. the atlanta braves packed up and left for the suburbs to be closer to the fan face. the commissioner of the nba speared the policy to thousand laborers in the nba would dress
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and appear before the public. so this habe has been going on in other language and in other activities as well. >> and reflecting and some of what you said just quickly, christine, sounds like some of the owners in making these decisions are not thinking about the younger generation. >> no, but they will have to one way or the other. >> we'll leave it there, christine brennan, kevin blackistone. we thank you both. >> thank you. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day. president obama made ready to lay out a new strategy for going after islamic state forces. the world health organization warned of thousands more cases of ebola in liberia in the next few weeks. home depot confirm hackers breached the electronic payment systems. customers that used credit cards and debits cards at its stores could be affected.
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on the newshour online right now, though millions of americans signed up for health insurance under the affordable care act, millions more, especially those living in rural areas did not. to fill that coverage gap, states and nonprofit groups are strategizing how best to enroll some of these residents. read about that outreach, and why it matters, on the rundown. all that and more is on our web site, and that's the newshour for tonight. on tuesday, how the ebola outbreak appears to be spiraling out of control. i'm judy woodruff, we'll see you on-line, and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us here at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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>> i've been around long enough to recognize the people who are out there owning it. the ones getting involved, staying engaged. they are not afraid to question the path they're on. because the one question they never want to ask is, "how did i end up here?" i started schwab with those people. people who want to take ownership of their investments, like they do in every other aspect of their lives. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions
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this is "nightly business report" with tyler mathisen and suzy gharib. >> the tale of three dow stocks. exxonmobil dips, boeing rises and general electric exits a business that was once a cornerstone of the company. >> the key economic reports to watch this week that most investors have never heard of. >> and clamping down. could potential new rules for the mutual fund industry impact your investments? we have all that and more tonight on "nightly business report" for monday, september 8th. good evening, everyone. and welcome. it is monday and stocks kicked off the new week mostly to the down side. but not by much after five weeks in a row of gains. the big driver sending the markets lower today was a dip in energy


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